Layoff Notices Handed to Dozens of Correctional Officers

August 12, 2009 12:41:35 AM PDT
Fresno County's budget crisis is reaching all the way to the steps of the county jail.Pink slip layoff notices are being handed out to thirty-five correctional officers and thirteen community service officers.

As the midnight shift gets started some correctional officers showed up to be greeted by a notice letting them know as of August 24th they could be out of a job.

We talked to one corrections officer who got one, he says they are going out to employees who have about three years or less of seniority.

The reason listed on the layoffs is, "The sheriff has determined it is advisable in the interest of the economy to reduce staff in the sheriff's office."

Sheriff Margaret Mims said she's evaluating all options as she tries to figure out how to operate the jail on less staffing. One option is moving inmates from the old south annex jail to the north jail where there are more beds available.

"I feel like Solomon making a decision about the baby. I knew I didn't have the funding to fund all the employees that I have. We are too short in the field to lay off deputy sheriff's we have a minimal support staff so it came down to what support staff could we mostly likely lay off and it's community service officers. Unfortunately they are doing jobs that free up deputy sheriff's," said Sheriff Mims.

13 of those community service officers are getting pink slips. The sheriff said she had no choice but to start delivering the notices.

No inmates are set to be released at this time. But as a plan of action is developed, it is likely dozens could be released within the next few weeks, as staffing dips to new lows.

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